Phoneme: the smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a language.
Phonetics: the study of the sounds used in speech, including how they are produced.
Lexis: the vocabulary of a language.
Semantics: the study of meaning.
Syntax: the way words are arranged to make a sentence.
Morphology: the area of language study that deals with the formation of words from smaller units called morphemes.
Phonology: the study of the sound systems of language and how they communicate meaning.
Discourse: a stretch of communication.
Pragmatics: the factors that influence the choices that speakers make in their use of language - why we choose to say one thing rather than another.
What children have to learn:
- To create individual phonemes and phonemic combinations (phonetics).
- To use a vocabulary of words and understand their meanings (lexis/semantics).
- To combine words in a variety of sentence constructions, changing word formations to express different word classes (syntax/morphology).
- To use prosodic features such as pitch, loudness, speed and intonation to convey meaning (phonology).
- To structure interactions with others (discourse).
- The subtleties of speech such as politeness, implication and irony (pragmatics)
Main stages of Language Development
The pre-verbal stage
Vegetative stage: occurs at 0-4 months. Features sound of discomfort or reflexive actions.
Cooing stage: occurs at 4-7 months. Features comfort sounds…